Consuming Omega-3 Fats Better For Your Health Than Having a Defibrillator Close By
September 12, 2006
Omega-3 fats may prevent more sudden deaths than defibrillators.
A study of a computer-simulated community of 100,000 (resembling the population of Olmsted County, Minnesota), showed that a diet rich in omega-3s worked better for preventing death than defibrillators in homes and public places, and it even worked better than implanted defibrillators.
When the levels of omega-3 fats consumed by the virtual citizens were increased, the overall death rate in the simulated population went down by 6.4 percent. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) reduced death rates by only 0.8 percent, and implanted defibrillators (ICDs) still only reduced deaths by 3.3 percent.
This suggests that increasing omega-3 fats in the general human diet would have roughly eight times the impact of distributing AEDs and twice the impact of implanting ICDs. This may also be a more cost-effective method; a population like that in the simulation could raise their omega-3 levels with daily supplements at a cost of $5.8 million a year. In contrast, equipping a similar number of households with AEDs would cost $201 million.